Saturday, March 20, 2010

I’m the Distraction

So why haven’t I been posting as much as I used to? Well, I have been hyper-focusing for several months – on myself. I finally hit rock bottom as far as my own health goes last year, so starting in June of last year I was bouncing from doctor to doctor to get myself thoroughly checked out . . . and cleared to have gastric bypass surgery. All the medications and such weren’t even making me comfortable, so it seemed like a real necessity. I felt Thane was finally old enough to handle my being away and needing to be treated gently (he used to love to head-butt me in the belly).

I don’t want to go into huge amounts of detail, but basically it seems like it was a good choice. I had the surgery on January 20th, so just two months ago now. I have lost 46 pounds since surgery, and had managed to lose 75 prior to going under the knife. Unfortunately, I would still like to lose about half my body weight from here, and even then I wouldn’t be skinny, but . . . I can breathe a lot better with the weight I have lost so far, and that was my main motivation. Not being able to breathe is awful!

Part of the reason for the hyper-focusing is that there is really only a short window in which to get this weight off my body – the bypass helps for a finite, but not precisely known, amount of time. So basically I really need to try to see how much I can get rid of within the first 6-12 months. Some of it would be humorous if it wasn’t kind of sad – trying to exercise and not get hopeless tangled in the oxygen tubing and my various wires and gismos. Half the battle is trying to get the aerobic exercise in so that I can perhaps not need oxygen for exertion anymore.

So wish me luck and please excuse me if I am not around as much.

Update on the Boys

I guess I have really fallen down on the job here. I guess Facebook really dampens the blogging, at least for me.

The boys are doing pretty well. Thane isn’t having the best of times in Kindergarten. He is ahead academically, but socially he is having some issues. I also think he is learning some lousy habits and we’re not having much luck getting them corrected.

For some unknown reason, MSAD 40 is the only one in the area that doesn’t using Discovering Kids for behavioral therapy. They use Woodford’s Family Services. Unfortunately I was told confidentially by a teacher I trusted that Woodford’s was a bad fit for Thane as they use aversives and I am totally against using negative stimulus for a child like Thane. I have always been all about positive discipline.

Thane’s main problem in school is all the transitions. It has taken a long time for the staff to realize they needed to reduce the number of changes he has in his day, and that seemed to help for a short time. But basically he keeps hitting, pushing or getting in people’s faces. They are calling it “aggressive behaviors” at school, but it is really the wrong word. He isn’t doing it out of anger or to be mean, he really does not understand why he can’t shove someone out of his path.

Dare I say that this might be a typical manifestation of Asperger’s Syndrome where he simply doesn’t really see other people as people. And it is very normal for a child with ASD to decide the shortest distance between A and B is a straight line, no matter what is in between. I want the staff to prepare him for success better than they do.

I really like the ed tech who spends the most time with Thane, but I am really unconvinced that the staff, as a whole tries to be consistent with him. I have tried to explain that it adds to his security, but I think there is also a belief that he needs to learn to adjust. I look at him and I think he is still just so little. It is too much to expect of him. Keep him happy. Happy matters. Don’t suck the joy out of my little smiley boy.

So far most of what he seems to be getting is that people don’t want him to push or hit. So far that isn’t quite enough. But I guess we will just keep plugging along. I have been using some of the social stories at – you can customize them, which is perfect for Thane. I recommend checking them out for anyone who uses social stories with their child.

Braeden has been having a fairly typical school year – nothing is really out of the ordinary for him. That, though, is a great step forward from last winter. He keeps himself busy and as he is getting older is he finding that he doesn’t want to be quite as busy . . . but he still wants to keep his theater projects up. He just appeared in “Willy Wonka” at The Waldo, and is now working on “A Hairy Tale” there as well. He also is dong “A Twist of the Tongue” at Riley, and then some as yet unannounced Shakespeare play. Then he has 2-3 weeks off in June before he goes to the intensive drama camp with Heartwood. I think all he plans for the summer is three weeks with Heartwood and then a week at Boy Scout camp. I can’t believe he is almost 12!